Elkhart family urges public to view homelessness differently after being evicted

NOW: Elkhart family urges public to view homelessness differently after being evicted

ELKHART, Ind. -- The Collins family has worked closely with Michiana Five for the Homeless in the past, helping where they could, and even housing nine people who were homeless last winter.

In July, the family had to call on the nonprofit again, this time for help.

After falling on some hardships and losing their jobs, the family was evicted from their home. They decided to move to campground to live.

“I didn’t want the kids tainted by the experience of it,” said Destiny Collins, the mother of six.

She says the campground was a summer adventure for the kids. Although they enjoyed it, she knew once school started, she wanted her family to have a house to come home too.

“Pinky promised my baby girl to have her a home within that 30 day stay of camping and I conquered that,” said Destiny. “I’m blessed.”

After exactly three weeks of living at the campground, the family found a house. It had been vacant for four years and needed some work, but Destiny and her husband Marc were able to remodel it into a home.

Now, they can’t say ‘thank you’ enough for a community that helped them get back on their feet.

"We've met a lot of great people,” said Destiny. “One I see daily. If I don't see her we speak daily. The ones that really reached out to us, they stayed close, and it's just like we picked up a family out of the community, and it was nice."

The family is now urging people in the community to change the mindset around homelessness.

"The story that's behind the word 'homelessness' isn't lazy or drug addicts or they don't have a job. It's not necessarily that, and that's the first thing that the public seems to believe,” said Destiny. “They judge very quickly before they know the entire situation. If anything could change, I think that would change a lot of the homelessness problem.”

Both Marc and Destiny found new jobs, but just were able to move into their home last week.

Right now there is an online fundraiser to help with food and gas costs as the family gets situated. More information on that fundraiser can be found here.

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